LA Auto Show – 2007 Nissan Sentra SE-R
- December 1, 2006
- New Model Introductions, Nissan
- Posted by George Peterson
- Comments Off on LA Auto Show – 2007 Nissan Sentra SE-R
Nissan launched its latest Sentra SE-R at the 2006 LA Auto Show Number II. The SE-R model is the higher performance version of Nissan’s bread-and-butter compact sedan. The SE-R will be in Nissan showrooms in March 2007 – as a 2007 model year product.
Think of SE-R as a Q-Ship. Subtle design cues on the exterior with an upgraded interior in terms of seat trim and instrument panel gauges. But, with the mild cosmetics, the story is under the skin.
SE-R is available in two states of tune – the plain-jane SE-R and the SE-R Spec V. The Spec V is the really high performance version putting out 200-horsepower. Nissan is touting 200-horsepower for less than $20,000. For those of us who actually select vehicles by horsepower per dollar (I select mine by horsepower by dollar of lease payment), the Spec V is a pretty good bargain.
Spec V Upgrades Above base SE-R are Substantial
Quoting from the Nissan Press Release, “Among the unique Spec V engine features are use of a unique resin intake manifold and dual branch exhaust manifold; revised piston crown shape to support a higher compression ratio (10.5:1); iridium tipped spark plugs for improved combustion characteristics; and a revised cam shaft profile, reinforced connecting rods and 8-counterweight crankshaft to achieve a higher redline limit of 6,800 rpm.
With these modifications, the power achieved is 200 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 180 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm (when using premium unleaded fuel). Helping to put all this power to the ground is an optional Helical Limited-Slip Differential (available with Spec V only). The Spec V model is available only with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission. It also has unique suspension, brakes, tires and body structure changes (versus the base SE-R).
In the area of chassis, handling and braking performance, the SE-R Spec V is equipped with higher rate springs, shocks and bushings; 225/45WR17 uni-directional high performance tires; high capacity front disc brakes with 12.6-inch rotors; and a revised cowl top structure and a unique trunk mounted “V” brace, both utilized for increased body rigidity.” Whew, not bad.
Base SE-R is No Slouch
The base SE-R has a 177HP 2.5L 4-cylinder engine with paddle shifting CVT (not available with the 6-speed manual). While we haven’t driven the SE-R with paddle shifters, if it is half as fun as the Mitsubishi Lancer with less horsepower and paddle shifting CVT, then the Sentra SE-R will be a winner.